VIEW EXHIBITION CATALOG (click "Expand" to view)


As everyone now knows, the legendary American artist, LeRoy Neiman, passed away in June, 2012 at the age of 91. Word of his passing was flashed around the world by broadcast networks like NBC and major newspapers like the New York Times. It was news because, for years, LeRoy Neiman has been widely regarded as America's most admired and collected artist. His exciting and intensely colorful paintings, sketches, and serigraphs not only capture the vibrant spirit of American and global culture as few other artists have, his works also reflect diverse moods and lifestyles, as they changed and evolved over the five decades LeRoy worked as an artist. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Neiman has become the true chronicler of our times and, if for no other reason, this certainly assures his place in art history.

Today, this reputation as America's favorite artist and cultural chronicler is as strong as ever, as is the demand for Neiman's work. As his primary art dealer and representative for over 35 years, Franklin Bowles Galleries is committed to making sure that this remarkable legacy continues to thrive and grow so that future generations will enjoy the same opportunity to admire and collect his art. To this purpose, we have worked closely with the LeRoy Neiman Foundation over the past year to assemble and present to Neiman's collectors a broad selection of his key works—in celebration of the unique contribution to art and culture that he has made.

It is my distinct honor and delight to introduce to you, on the anniversary of the artist's death, this major memorial exhibition of some of the finest artworks from LeRoy's personal archives, most never before seen by the public. These exciting, distinctive works on paper span many different eras, both in Neiman's career and in international culture. Each piece accurately records some aspect of the changing times. They are seminal works that Neiman himself regarded among his best—too important and close to his heart to part with. Only now, with the consent of Neiman's family and the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, has our gallery been given exclusive access to these vibrant Neiman drawings and color sketches, along with permission to exhibit and offer them to his adoring public.

I invite you now to look through this beautiful catalogue and experience for yourself LeRoy's exquisite portrayal of the times he lived through, with all its ideals and excesses, aspirations and struggles, exhilarating heights and humbling defeats. Neiman saw and participated in it all and—fortunately for us—had the immense artistic talent and skill to capture it in spontaneous, colorful images on paper, board, and canvas. There is no doubt in my mind that just as people today turn to the artwork of Daumier to find out what life was like in late 19th-century France, so people living a hundred years from now will turn to the artwork of LeRoy Neiman to find out what life was like in late 20th-century America. Luckily, you don't have to wait that long. You can find out right now where we have been and where we might be headed, simply by coming to this exhibition and looking at the iconic images that LeRoy Neiman has created for us.

Franklin Bowles

NEW SERIGRAPH RELEASE: St. Mark's Square, Venice

Limited edition serigraph on paper
250 numbered / 50 artist's proofs / 10 printer's proofs
Paper size: 32.25" x 44" / Image size: 25" x 38"

During LeRoy Neiman's last months on earth, he was doing something he'd been doing for the last 40 years of his life: diligently preparing his next limited-edition serigraph. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete this project before his death this past June.

The LeRoy Neiman Foundation, however, has now finished what the artist began, and will release the first limited-edition, estate-stamped serigraph by Neiman, to coincide with the new year. We are happy to be the foundation's primary distributor for this new print, continuing our long relationship with the artist, and now, with the charitable organization representing his legacy.

This colorful image, full of energy and movement, is based on a painting LeRoy made in 1991 and celebrates one of LeRoy's most-beloved destinations: the Italian city of Venice. Venice is a magical place, with waterways for streets, and one which held a special place in the artist's heart. This masterful rendering of St. Mark's cathedral also features one of LeRoy's favorite characters: Harlequin from the Italian Commedia dell'arte. A constant source of artistic inspiration, LeRoy admired Harlequin's "rascality" and wrote that "He represents for me life in all its irony and wit." In addition to being featured in three of Neiman's previous limited-edition silkscreens, the character is depicted in countless of the artist's drawings and paintings.

We are proud to offer this serigraph to our many devoted Neiman collectors and fans. We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Videos on Serigpraphs


Serigraphy perhaps had its roots in early Dutch poster stencils from the De Stijl movement. Then the silk screening process emerged and received wide acceptance for fine prints in the 1940s and 1950s. In this method, viscous silkscreen ink is forced through a nylon screen, depositing the ink on the paper. A separate screen is required for each color. The process of serigraphy is a more modern, mechanized version of traditional silk screening, allowing for faster runs of excellent color quality and sharpness of image.

"Up until that time [1969] I had tried etching and lithography, but found myself repeatedly turning to monoprints. When I finally took a crack at silkscreen, I discovered straight away that it was just right for my way of applying paint. The silkscreen process places no limitations on color possibilities, just as in painting. When doing silkscreens, I commence by laying on an abstract underpainting, establishing unresolved color temperatures, intensities and tones. Then, working into the disorganized paint, color by color, color over color, images slowly start taking shape. As the colors are laid down, a certain turbulence is retained which gives my serigraphs their special energy."

Neiman's serigraphs are organic extensions of his paintings. His earlier experiments with lithographs and monotypes in the 1950s and 1960s prepared him for the serigraphic technique that he began to use in 1970.

Neiman works very closely with the masterprinter and the chromist in the execution of these prints. Often, as many as 36 oil-based colors must be orchestrated into that symphony of tones that is the final work of art.

Encore Femlin




First off, let it be known . . . I Love Femlin!

Femlin is an emancipated attention-getter, a quirky prankster, rambunctious, joyous, but vulnerable— an antidote against boredom and the hum-drum.

Femlin has been in my system for over fifty years. It seems anywhere I go I encounter situations she might capitalize on, to explore and exploit. I can't shake her, nor do I want to. No telling what she'll do next—that’s pretty much up to me. All I need to do is make sure Femlin appears every month, fashioned with tenderness, in two drawings for Playboy's Party Jokes page as part of the Playmate centerfold.

Sometimes Femlin deserves a scolding, but, more often, praise and en-couragement as I am the one responsible for contributing to her frisky antics, always in fun. As Hugh Hefner says, "You can put her in your pocket, but she won't stay there!"


About the Artist

Career Highlights